Posted on 28/12/2018

2018 year in review

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2018 year in review

At the start of this year, we promised that 2018 was prepped to be our best year yet and, boy, did it deliver!

2018 has been a fantastic year for us, with new contracts, products and awards all on the table. Not only that, we’ve been fortunate enough to speak with a number of extraordinary people, willing to share their stories and reach out to others in similar situations to help them know they are not alone.

2018 has also been our most successful year for fundraising, with NRS service centres across the UK helping us raise £2138 for local and national charities including; Rainbow’s Hospice, Derek’s Tree, Macmillan Cancer Support, Children in Need, Save the Children UK, Teenage Cancer Trust and the Royal British Legion.

Read on to find out what else has made 2018 our best year yet.

Building relationships with extraordinary people

Engagement on our social media platforms has excelled in 2018, giving us the opportunity to connect with some truly inspiring members of the UK community.

After tweeting a request in April to speak with a young stroke survivor, our call was answered by 33-year old millennial Adam Hayes who experienced a stroke when he was just 29, caused by a bleed from a “birth mark” on the brain (known as an Anterior Venus Malformation) which had been there all his life. Adam was told if the “birth mark” was removed he would no longer be at risk of having another stroke.

“Because the “birth mark” was in my Front Left Lobe, it was a very high risk to operate on me, so instead I was transferred to Sheffield, where the medical staff performed specialised non-invasive surgery on me, using a ray gun to pin-point the part of my brain that was damaged and cut around it. In order to keep my head absolutely still, I had to have a dome-like helmet screwed into my face and I was told I’d have to wear it for 24 hours.”

From speaking with Adam, he felt that “Millennials are often overlooked by stroke charities” and this was something he wanted to change. His story had a massive response on both our Twitter and Facebook accounts, encouraging many others to share their stories – including TV personality, and WWE super fan, Ashlee White!

Another incredible person we connected with in 2018 was 29-year-old GB athlete, Ceara Toal. Profoundly deaf since she was just 14 months old, Ceara does not know the cause of her hearing loss but it has never stopped her from following her dreams.

Ceara adores football and cricket – in fact her list of sporting achievements is incredible! She plays for the England Deaf futsal and football teams and has played for Great Britain Deaf Women’s football team in the last World and European football championships, as well as the Deaflympics. Impressively, her team won the bronze medal at the World Cup in Italy 2016. She also plays cricket and indoor cricket for a hearing team, playing for England in five indoor Cricket World Cups.

During our interview, Ceara was keen to emphasise how deafness and hearing loss do not have to be a barrier to hobbies, education, family life, or career – which we believe she is living proof of! – and her inspirational story was well received by our online audience.

Best Contribution to the Community 2018

We were absolutely thrilled last month to win the award for Best Contribution to the Community at the annual BHTA Awards Dinner, in relation to our collaborative work on “The Phoenix Project” with Warrington Disability Partnership and St Marks Universal Copts Care.

In April 2018, we saw a team of awesome volunteers pack a 40ft container with over 1,200 pieces of mobility and independent living equipment worth over £57,000, to be donated to a charity hospital in Cairo, Egypt, whilst in June 2018, a whopping £350,000 worth of equipment was delivered to a specialist children’s cancer facility in the same area. We are so proud to be involved in this extraordinary project and will continue to donate our equipment overseas to help those with a disability or long term health condition live more independently.

Our Commercial Director, Steve Kennedy, had this to say of the project:

“NRS Healthcare and Warrington Disability Partnership share mutual goals – to push the boundaries of daily living aids and continue to raise awareness of what is available to make everyday tasks easier for disabled people and their families.

“For almost 70 years, NRS Healthcare has been proud to spread the word of daily living aids and help people throughout the UK lead a more independent life. Now we are proud to support WDP and St Mark in their vision to bring quality living aids to those in need overseas so they can enjoy a more confident and self-sufficient future.”

New products at The Occupational Therapy Show 2018

This year’s OT Show was particularly exciting for us as we launched our NRS EasyFit Plus+ Bed Rail – brand new for 2018! Showcased on our stand at the show, our Senior Design Engineer, Susan, was there to demonstrate the benefits of the bed rail through a number of education sessions, which were attended by many occupational therapists from various sectors.

Also launched at this year’s OT Show was our highly anticipated, 2018 Ways and Means catalogue. Designed for those wishing to buy their own equipment, the A5 catalogue features 300 of our best-selling daily living aids and is an ideal size for occupational therapists to carry around on their travels.

Our commercial Director, Steve, was keen to highlight the reasons why, although it may be small in stature, our new catalogue is big on impact:

"In the past few years, we’ve really focussed on building our online presence, improving our retail website to ensure people who want to buy online can do so easily and quickly. However, we’re aware that lots of our clients still prefer to use a mail order catalogue over buying online, so we’ve produced a new A5 booklet under our Ways and Means brand for them!

"Naturally, we can only include a selection of the vast range of 3000 daily living aids that we offer online, but our team of Occupational Therapist product advisors have carefully selected the most popular products, to suit a variety of needs and provide a number of mobility and living solutions. We’re also featuring lots of helpful health and wellbeing tips, as well as advice on how to choose certain daily living aids.”

To order your catalogue, simply call our Customer Service Team on 0345 121 8111 or email customerservice@nrshealthcare.co.uk

Ending the year on a high

After a year of success, we ended 2018 on a real high as NRS Healthcare were awarded the Integrated Community Equipment Service (ICES) and Telecare contracts for Oxfordshire County Council. This means we now have contracts in 20 locations across the UK and 2019 is set up to be a highly exciting time for everyone at the company!

We are exceptionally proud of all our staff members who have helped make 2018 such a great year and we can only hope that 2019 continues to deliver such fantastic results. We thank you all for your support during 2018 and wish all of you a very Happy New Year.

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